Over the past decade, Estonia has emerged as a leading European hub for startups, drawing entrepreneurs with a favourable business environment, great government support, and an advantageous taxation system with a zero corporate income tax on retained and reinvested profits, writes EU Startups.
The country has fully embraced a digital-first approach. Its admirable advancements in digital infrastructure have led to a transformative shift in public services, eliminating bureaucracy and paperwork. Estonia has been at the forefront of innovative practices, from pioneering online voting since 2005 to securely storing their health records in the cloud. This digital infrastructure not only drives efficiency but also fosters innovation and inspires trust in the system.
Moreover, Estonia’s strategic location grants startups access to the extensive European market, while its robust IT industry and dynamic startup community provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial success. The nation’s dedication to e-governance and cutting-edge digital infrastructure further boost the startup ecosystem, creating an ideal environment for aspiring businesses to thrive.
EU Startups recently decided to take a deeper look at the Estonian startup ecosystem and curate a list of 10 startups you must be watching from 2023 onward, all of which were founded post-2020. These innovative ventures showcase the growing potential and dynamism of Estonia’s startup landscape.
Founded in 2020, Minterest is an innovative lending protocol led by a team of seasoned startup veterans, to service billions in TVL and challenge existing decentralized finance (DeFi) incumbents. Operating its own on-chain liquidation and buyback mechanisms, the Minterest protocol automatically distributes the value it captures from interest rates, flash loans and liquidation fees to users, providing security and transparency. Minterest is offering a pioneering lending protocol capturing 100% of value, resulting in a high long-term yield in the crypt borrowing and lending sector. The startup picked up over €5.7 million since its foundation.
This pioneering Tallin-based startup was founded in 2022 seeking to unleash the potential of carbon income in response to the escalating battle against climate change. Arbonics specializes in climate technology and has developed an innovative platform tool that utilizes data and scientific principles to revolutionize the burgeoning Verified Carbon Market (VCM). Their objective is to establish a fresh forest economy that enables landowners to recognize the favourable climate effects and monetary value of their land. This approach ensures equitable earnings for landowners, verifiable carbon credits for companies, and an increased number of forests for the benefit of society as a whole. Since its inception, it has secured a total funding amount of €1.8 million.
Tallinn-based ÄIO is an innovative company determined to revolutionize food and product production. Their mission is to unlock the full potential of microbial oils and offer tailored solutions for industries like food, feed, and cosmetics. By utilizing local by-products, they create high-value oil ingredients rich in proteins, omega-3s, antioxidants, and pigments. These plant-based alternatives are sustainable, reducing reliance on seasonal variations and precious arable land. Founded in January 2022, ÄIO aims to become the leading biotech company in the Baltic region. It has raised a total funding amount of €1 million.
Tallinn-based KOOS.io is aiming to reshape the business landscape by transforming contributors into stakeholders. Through the issuance of virtual shares, the platform instils a sense of ownership and motivation among these individuals. Clear goals, progress tracking, and financial rewards are all part of the comprehensive solution offered. Since its establishment in 2021, KOOS.io has successfully secured a total of €4.1 million in funding and has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing startups in the country.
Raiku is a fast-growing cleantech startup based in Tallinn that produces 100% natural packaging material with exceptional aesthetics and shock absorption. Since its foundation in 2021, RAIKU offers remarkable resource efficiency by providing 15-20 times more volume from the same raw materials, making it highly cost-effective. With over €1.2 million raised in the pre-seed stage, RAIKU is aiming to disrupt the €1 trillion packaging sector. Their clean production processes ensure zero harm to nature, making them a sustainable choice for packaging solutions.
Founded in 2020, Certific is an innovative healthcare technology company that has already made significant strides. With total funding of €7.4 million, they are dedicated to assisting clinic employees by minimizing time-consuming and common activities through their patient interaction platform. Developed by physicians who have firsthand experience with the challenges faced in primary care, Certific’s solution is specifically geared towards addressing these issues. They actively seek input from healthcare professionals to continually improve their platform and provide effective solutions for clinics. Certific’s mission is to enhance efficiency and streamline patient interactions for healthcare providers.
Founded in 2021, Cognitiwe is revolutionizing manufacturing and retail through its Predictive Vision AI Platform. With real-time insights and data-driven predictions, businesses can enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction. Cognitiwe eliminates the need for extra hardware expenses by utilizing regular IP cameras. By monitoring shelf stocks and production quality, they help retailers avoid stockouts and manufacturers save on materials. Notably, Cognitiwe has raised over €538K in funding, solidifying its commitment to transforming business management.
Founded in 2020, MX Labs is a pioneering deep-tech company. With their innovative Shen.AI technology, they use cameras on smartphones to provide holistic health assessment for early diagnostics and preventive medicine. In just 60 seconds, Shen.AI is able to analyze facial skin texture and extract vital signs such as Heart Rate, HRV, Respiratory Rate, Blood Pressure, and SpO2. Additionally, it offers health risk assessments like Stress Index and Vascular Age. So far MX Labs has raised over €2.3 million to support its mission of revolutionizing healthcare.
The no-code platform aiming to revolutionize businesses by enabling them to create custom data-driven applications, automate processes, and engage their audiences. With its intuitive drag-and-drop tools, Formaloo simplifies software development without coding. Founded in 2020, it has raised over €2 million in funding. Formaloo’s Customer Data Platform (CDP) empowers businesses to analyze customer data, gain insights, and make informed decisions to boost loyalty, customer lifetime value (LTV), and overall customer experience.
Tallinn-based Stargate Hydrogen was founded in 2021, leading the way in the emerging hydrogen revolution. They offer turn-key solutions to decarbonize sectors such as heavy transport, steelmaking and the chemical industry, where it is proving difficult to reduce emissions through electrification alone. With €10.7 million raised in funding, Stargate Hydrogen is committed to shaping a zero-emission world.
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